Mario Cuomo

978-1-58731-507-7; 978-1-58731-508-4
Forthcoming Books
Jacket Clothbound $35, E-book $22
6" x 9", 340 pages, notes

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Mario Cuomo

The Myth and the Man

Marlin, George J.

Among all the fifty-six men who have served as New York’s governor, none was more complicated, self-righteous, pugilistic, and exasperating than Mario Cuomo.

As governor, Mario Cuomo is remembered most for his advocacy of the “personally-opposed-but” position on abortion that led to confrontations with Catholic Church hierarchy, and for dithering about his presidential ambitions, that led the media to dub him the “Hamlet on the Hudson.”  His political style reminded many of Machiavelli; Cuomo styled himself a successor to St. Thomas More.

In this political profile, George J. Marlin sets the record straight on Mario Cuomo.

Marlin traces Cuomo’s political rise and documents how and why he abandoned his public opposition to abortion to be elected New York’s chief executive.

In great detail, Marlin describes the protracted conflict between Cuomo and his church on abortion and refutes the governor’s claim that his “position on abortion is absolutely theologically sound.”

Marlin critiques Cuomo’s famous 1984 Democratic convention speech as nothing more than the usual high-toned partisan liberal bromides that offered little, if anything, that hadn’t been touted by his party for half a century.

The book also uncovers New York State’s fiscal, economic, and social decline during Cuomo’s 12 years as governor.  It explains why voters repudiated Cuomo’s version of a welfare state when he sought a fourth term in 1994 and why, in the words of his son, Governor Andrew Cuomo, his father was “more accomplished as a speech-giver than as a governor.”

Marlin skillfully separates the Cuomo “Public Intellectual” myth from the political man.